So the Powerball Jackpot is at 500 million today. That seems so ridiculous. I mean, charities can't hardly afford to continue to offer food/shelter for the homeless and yet we have some insanely large amount cash people just keep dropping for lottery tickets....because that's what it is....every time we spend $2 on a ticket, we're building up the lottery...
I know, I get it. It's our choice and even some states have implemented college lottery scholarships for people... (which I find interesting because I'm guessing debt for college is still outrageous). Oh I know, every little bit helps and sure, for tax purposes, whoever wins will give a bit away (after Uncle Sam takes at least 1/3 in taxes-lest we forget that part....) but the irony to me is an article/blog/story I just came across this morning on my Facebook feed. It's the "Global middle class and what it looks like." Now as handy as I am on the computer, I still am hit or miss with figuring out how to post things, attach things, send things, so I'm not making any promises, but if I can, I'll post the story on this blog...
Actual Global Middle Class
Ta-DA!!! I did it. She did it...break into a Dora song now....
Now before people get their pretty little panties all twisted up inside- let me assure anyone who will listen, my husband was on strict orders not to return to his domicile unless he had a ticket in hand. We only play the lottery when it's big. REALLY BIG. Like 1/2 a billion big.... So I have no intention of begging people to stop gambling their lives away. Much like alcohol, food, medication, exercise, and the like, we must learn self control. We can not ban things because we've decided they're dangerous for a few, so take them away from us all. God gave us control over ourselves, He left that to us-free will? So people can play the lottery, I was just very emotional this morning in regards to the state of life in not only our world, but our towns, our cities, our very homes.
I rarely complain about my family life. I'm talking about serious family stuff. Not my silly Tazmanian two year old antics, or crazy life as a mom of seven funnies. I rarely feel the need to dump my silly family issues out there like dirty laundry mostly because when you have a big family, you're judged differently. Not saying I condone judging, but people just look at big families differently. We've heard it all, and then some. Yes, we know how this happens, yes, we know could stop it, yes, we know it's expensive (well, that is relative, it CAN be expensive, especially if I tried to live like people with just a few kids who feel the sky has no limit), no, we don't have, nor want, a TV in our bedroom, yadda, yadda, yadda.... I could write a book about all the different comments/concerns and questions we've received in our lifetime of childbearing.... seriously.
But lately, my family has taken a real doozy of a turn in regards to how we treat one another. I'm talking like pull up a chair and let's sit and discuss the Days of Our Lives, doozy...I used to love that soap opera until I realized what I was actually watching-
But for some reason, I'm feeling the urge to discuss my dirty laundry with people. And boy don't I have a lot of laundry. 3-5 loads a day...
It isn't a mystery as to why I haven't blogged since the end of November....I have been swamped with Advent Preparation, Christmas activities, children who are sick. The week before Christmas, one of my kiddos got sick and we haven't been well since. Someone, every single week has suffered from one illness or another. That, unfortunately, led to a lot of cleaning, bleaching, wiping down, laundry, and most importantly, stress.
Some say I must have the patience of Job. I do not. I am not Job. I don't think I ever will be Job. To think about losing my entire family, my job, my life, my whatever, actually makes me angry inside just a little bit. I can readily admit my greed. I.am.greedy.
I just finished up a great book by Matthew Kelly called, Rediscovering Jesus. It's really good. Easy to read, and if you will pardon my squirrel moment, pointed out something I really have always known about myself. He calls it greed, I called it selfishness. Either way, I think the two words are synonymous in my book. He recounts the brother of the Prodigal Son and how he was greedy, selfish and prideful. Dang, that's me. I'm more like the Prodigal Son's brother than I realized after reading that particular chapter. I've always said I'm selfish. I KNOW what you're thinking- how on God's green earth can a mother of seven children be selfish?
It's easier than you think.
I am selfish with just about everything in my life. I swear that's why God put it on my heart to have a big family. I can only imagine what kind of person I would be if I had stopped after one or two, or Heaven forbid, never had children. I would probably be the kind of person who is very difficult to be around. Not saying that I am something any better or more bearable now, but at least, having seven children, has in fact, lessened my greed. Just a tee tiny bit.
I get tired of doing things right. I get tired of following God's plan all the time when I see people NEVER follow it, or just throw it away when they've carried it for so long or just decide one day, there is no God. I get tired of trying to raise my kids to believe that God makes no mistakes, that the way we are born, the family we're with, the place we exist in, are not mistakes, but a part of a grander, larger, more complicated plan than we could ever imagine in our feeble little minds.
I get tired of denying my kids all the riches of the world. Toys, electronics, trips to Disney, cable channels, computers, cars, (dear Lord, I will have a driving teenager next month- eek!) I get tired of having a budget and having to deny myself things when I really want them, or having to look at dirty, cheap ass carpet that the builder thought would do for this spec home.
I get tired of hearing all the garbage children try to spew into the minds of my babies that make this momma bear want to go out and throttle some parents over it because they're raising a generation of spoiled rotten brats (which, don't get me wrong, mine, ironically enough, recognize how "spoiled" they are...)
I get tired. A lot. Laundry sucks. Dishes that never.ever.ever.go.away. Floors that as soon as they are mopped become a friggin magnet for nice, full, glasses of milk. Toys that magically appear under foot at midnite while getting a bottle for the baby. Messy bedrooms. That feeling when someone 'stops by' and your house looks like an episode of hoarders when they're showing the before pictures...
I get tired of trying to figure out where I'm going to cram six girls in a 4 bedroom house. YES-recall above, I KNOW HOW THAT HAPPENED....
I get tired. I try to keep it all inside, or vent it out when a girlfriend calls every once in a while, but mostly I try to keep it out of reality because heaven forbid anyone find out that me having seven children and trying to raise them with any kind of moral compass is exhausting work that I would not recommend for the light hearted.
But today, after seeing the global middle class pictures and story and seeing the 500 million dollar jackpot, it just set the ball rolling for me to really think about my own life and where my priorities are and what exactly is my own "jackpot" and how am I sharing my wealth with what I've been given.
My family has been slowly growing up and with that, are introduced to the real world, and it's hard. As much as I would love to keep my babies in a nice, big, comfy bubble, they're being exposed to things I am pretty sure, I never had to worry about as a young child. Sure, I wanted a Liz Claiborne purse and Nike tennis shoes, but I don't remember it defining who I was, or leaving an indelible scar on me.
This Christmas was supposed to be the 'best on record' at Crazycatholicmomma's house. I had worked so hard to make sure each child got a certain amount of gifts (I even vetoed the one gift from us, one gift from Santa rule) I wanted every detail to be magical and beautiful and enjoyable because my oldest is a sophomore and could potentially just have a few more Christmas' at home with us.
Well, it was anything but the 'best on record.' Matter of fact, after it was all over, I complained to my superhero husband that it was so bad and blah, blah, blah, people were sick, wah, wah, wah, we didn't even get to go to church together, I whined and complained like a big.ole.baby.
Do you know what that amazing man said to me?
"I'm pretty sure it wasn't the 'best on record' for Mary & Joseph either.
That's it. That is the jackpot. Recognizing that even in the midst of the yuck, even in the midst of the being tired, remembering that God sent His only Son, not only as a baby, helpless, completely dependent on others to take care of Him, but completely displaced, no where to call home, in a cave/barn that animals fed in. We all know what animals do. I'm guessing it stunk like crap. He was laying in a manger, which is literally a feeding trough that would become a sign of the future when He gave us His body and blood to literally consume.
I am no where near perfect. No where NEAR as patient as God would probably desire me to be, most especially in dealing with the seven gifts from Him. I am tired a lot. I am greedy. I am selfish, but I am, once again, clay in my Father's Hands.
I don't need a lottery, or lots of fame, or money to define who I am. I don't need "things" to make me happy. I only need what God desires of me. To continually strive to be better. People say our Church is full of hypocrites and that's why they leave, or just don't even bother to attend Mass anymore. They're right in one aspect. But where they're wrong, is God never promised to come and heal the healthy. He came to heal the hypocrites, the sick, the sinners. Us all. What a beautiful promise. What a fabulous reminder to me of why I do those things I sometimes get so tired of. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, for once again revealing to me in Your ever so subtle way, just how much of a blessing I have been entrusted.
Blessings to you this Happy New Year. May you recognize your jackpot as well.